Who Would Rafael Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, & Murray Be If They Were Footballers?

Andres Ehrli@@ehrliCorrespondent IIIJune 6, 2011

Who Would Rafael Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, & Murray Be If They Were Footballers?

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    Rafael Nadal won his record-tying sixth Roland Garros title in Paris. The other players inside the top four in the tournament were Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

    They are the undisputed four best tennis players in the world today. 

    However each of them has a set of skills, personality traits and talents that are quite different form each other. There is another sport in the world where individual skills are also ranked: football. 

    This article will explore similarities between tennis players and footballers to find which athletes from each sporting world match another's. 

Andy Murray Is... Xavi

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    Why are they alike?

    Andy Murray is a technician. He has all the shots and is a solid all-around player. But he lacks the power shot to be top player in the world.

    Xavi in his own way is perhaps the best technician in world football when passing, but his lack of scoring and flair will always make him stand a notch behind the top players in football.

    They both also shy away from the spotlight.

    In short, both Murray and Xavi have the technical abilities to match anybody in their sport, but they lack the game-winning attribute that would truly let them compete as the best player in the world. 


    Other footballers comparable to Murray:

    Mesut Özil, Andrés Iniesta, Wesley Sneijder.

Novak Djokovic Is... Cristiano Ronaldo

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    Why are they alike?

    Novak Djokovic might be the most complete tennis player in the world. He just doesn't have any glaring weaknesses. Novak is also known for his antics on the court (which include making faces, injury-faking, quitting when losing, bad sportsmanship, protesting calls with the line judge and time-wasting).

    On the other side, we have Cristiano Ronaldo. Perhaps the most complete player in football, and a man known for his on- and off-field antics as well (including diving, making faces, protesting to the referee, injury faking, bad sportsmanship and quitting when losing).

    They are also similar in the way they tend to lose and under-perform in the big game but rack up amazing stats on smaller contests. 

    As you can see, it's quite difficult to find two athletes as similar as CR7 and Djokovic are to each other.


    Other footballers that are similar to Djokovic:

    Didier Drogba, Sergio Busquets, Robin van Persie. 

Roger Federer Is... Lionel Messi

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    Why are they alike?

    Roger Federer might be the most talented tennis player to ever play. It's quite that simple. However, in the mental department, he just isn't built like a pure winner. 

    As Roger adequately put it in his own words:

    "...It's always me who's going to dictate play and decide how the outcome is going to be. If I play well, I will most likely win in the score or beat him; if I'm not playing so well, that's when he wins..."

    Like Roger, Lionel Messi might be the most talented footballer ever. And like the Swiss, when he's on a good day, he will most likely make his team win.

    But like Federer, sometimes he doesn't. Even though he's very talented, sometimes Messi lacks the mental edge to win a game by himself (take his below-averge performances with Argentina, for example). Roger experiences this same kind of problems with his nemesis Rafa Nadal. 

    Both immensely talented, yet even with their winning ways, under performers in their own right. 


    Other footballers that may be similar to Federer:

    Kaka, Ronaldinho

Rafael Nadal Is... Wayne Rooney

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    Why are they alike?

    Rafa Nadal is 110 percent heart. He is playing with perhaps the best generation of tennis players, and even though he has less natural talent and technique, he compensates with his power, work ethic and winning mentality to be on the top on a consistent basis. 

    Football has a player like this: Wayne Rooney. Talent-wise he's just not as good as CR7 or Messi. Wayne's not even as talented as Xavi. But he works hard and hates to lose, and like Nadal, is a power player in his own right. 

    Some might not like the comparison because Rooney never has dominated his sport (and probably never will) like Rafa has, but the comparison between styles, attitude toward the sport and the winning mentality they both have match them perfectly.

    Simply put: Rooney would never be considered in the Top 10 of world football without his winning mentality, just like Rafa would probably be owned by Federer, Djokovic and Murray without his.


    Other footballers that may be similar to Nadal:

    Samuel Eto'o, Dani Alves, Carlos Tevez.